Christmas Symbols in the Philippines

1165 WordsOct 4, 20085 Pages
PASKO SYMBOLS AND RITUALS Misa de Gallo The dawn of December 16 is different from any other morning in the Philippines. When the day’s first cockcrow is heard, exultation rings throughout the nation as church bell toll loudly to signal the official start of Christmastide. The dawn mass is aptly called Misa de Gallo or Mass of the Rooster. While Christmas has been in the air for weeks, or even months, and people have been busy with Pasko activities--- today, Christmas really begins. The sounds of this morning are unique, memorable and much awaited especially in towns and barrios. In the dawn darkness still enveloping everyone, no one notices that some are still in pajamas or nightclothes due to their excitement. Some of them are…show more content…
John of the Cross, who later presented a version in a pageant. Seven years later, some Spanish missionaries introduced it to Mexico, where it was called posadas (inn). From there, mariners on the Acapulco galleons which landed in Cavite in the late 18th century or the early 19th century incorporated it into local Christmas activities. The tradition still survives mostly in the rural areas where it is called panunuluyan , meaning “looking for lodging”. There are two variations, the live and the statuary--- although some cities have a combination of both. They stop at three or four homes representing inns, and knock. They are told that the inn is full and there is “no room for you!” and are quickly sent away. Those who cannot accept the biblical story of rejection insist on giving the Holy Couple a glass of cool water or juice to drink, while quietly offering wrapped food--- the specialty of the house--- to take along on their journey. The unsuccessful search for a room ends in a constructed cave with a manger, or at a decorated corner of the church altar. There, the Nativity scene begins, as the faithful jubilantly sing western and native Christmas carols. Although the tradition has slowly vanished from the metropolitan cities over the past years, it is still staged in school Christmas dramas and is sometimes sponsored by institutions for fund-raising purposes. Misa de Aguinaldo Church bells ring out for the
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